Iron dagger with ornate hilt, and decorated sheath. The blade has hollow shoulders. The upper part is almost parallel-sided from which it narrows to a slender point. The centre of each face is recessed on the upper part with a fine rib running logitudinally along the centre of the depression. The copper alloy hilt is 'butterfly-shaped'. It is edged with a border of 3mm wide, 5mm thick. The interior is filled with an openwork pattern made up of circles each ornamented with a pair of concentric ridges on the back and with a hole in the centre. On the front each disk is concave and presumably held an inset, perhaps of coral, which was attached by a rivet passing through the central hole. The length of the blade including the tang is 27.8 cm. The lower edge of the hilt is grooved to receive the upper edge of the blade. The back of the sheath is missing. The front is of copper alloy sheet bent over along the edges and with a raised rib down the centre. At the top is a mitre-shaped openwork plate. This comprises a border 3mm wide, 2mm thick, which is filled with a pattern of rings of which the insides are cupped. The chape comprises a horse-shoe shaped copper alloy terminal with three ribs on each face and a cup, presumably originally containing an inset at the tip. The horse-shoe shaped terminal contains seven cupped disks on the front, and three rows each of seven such disks extend upwards from the terminal. Each of the disks in the line at each side is backed with a disk carrying two concentric ridges and with a perforation in the centre which presumably held the rivet securing the setting in the cup on the opposite face. The length of the chape is 12.5 cm.
© The Trustees of the British Museum
Using this image
To license images for charged-for journals and publications, and other commercial uses, please contact British Museum Images.
Contact BM images
The image will be released to you under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. You can read more about the British Museum and Creative Commons here.
Download this image
If you cannot see an image that you want on the British Museum website, you can order new photography from us.
Order new image